June 11, 2021

Day 4: Hate Crimes

DAY 4 Of YWCA Spokane’s 14-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge

We hope this challenge provides you with an opportunity to better understand concepts related to race, power, privilege, and leadership.

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9 | DAY 10 | DAY 11 | DAY 12 | DAY 13 | DAY 14

Thank you for taking this challenge! If this is your first day of joining us for the 14-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge, welcome. If you are returning after previous engagement with the challenge, nice work! We are glad you are here. Each weekday from Tuesday, June 8th through Friday, June 25th, YWCA Spokane will send those who sign up for our challenge emails prompting you to make time to learn about racial equity and social justice.

We encourage everyone to talk about what you are learning with friends, share on social media with #ywcaequitychallenge, and take time to reflect on your personal insights after each challenge using this reflection log. Consider joining our Racial & Social Justice Facebook Group to continue the conversation online and connect with others.

DAY 4: Hate crimes

In the next few days of the challenge, we are going to look at examples of oppression in action. How does it show up on different levels and what kind of impact does it have on the people who experience it? Today, we are examining the most extreme form of interpersonal oppression: hate.

The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” While interpersonal in nature, violence against non-dominant groups is influenced by biased institutions and culture, and has an impact beyond just those directly victimized. Since the onset of COVID-19, xenophobic rhetoric has caused a massive increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

Hate is more harmful when it is organized. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) defines a hate group as “an organization or collection of individuals that – based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities – has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” Today, the SPLC has identified over 900 active hate groups, “a 60% increase since 2000.” These groups are everywhere, infiltrating communities in all 50 states.

In response to these increases in hate, new legislation has been brought before congress. The Jabara-Heyer NO Hate Act, named after a Lebanese American man killed in Oklahoma and Heather Heyer, a white woman killed at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, would streamline the national hate crime reporting systems used by law enforcement, create a hate crimes hotline and expand assistance and resources for victims of hate crimes, and support training for law enforcement on investigating hate crimes. It would help the FBI better understand where, why, and how these incidents occur, and how to better take action, both proactively and reactively, on this critical issue. As of May 18 2021 this bill has passed in the Senate and the House.

On Thursday, May 20, President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act as a response to the rise of hate, bigotry and violence targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The act creates a position at the Department of Justice to expedite the review of COVID-19 related hate crimes, encourages reporting, and empowers communities to come forward and report incidents. Legislation like this is essential for communities traumatized by racist rhetoric and violence to have the resources needed for community healing.

If you have…

5 Minutes


10 Minutes


30 Minutes

and and
Read this blog
to better understand the gaps in hate crime reporting and how to report these incidents locally. 
and Read this article 
to better understand how to interpret local hate crime data and trends in Washington state. 
and Listen to this podcast
as experts unpack the US justice system’s measure of what leads a violent incident of bias to be categorized as a hate crime. 


  • BONUS 1: If you have a few extra minutes, read these stories to learn about the experiences of Asian Americans who have faced interpersonal racism related to COVID-19. (Content warning: uncensored and personal accounts of interpersonal violence)
  • BONUS 2: If you have an extra 45 minutes, explore this report on fatal violence against the transgender and non-conforming community, which disproportionately impacts Black transgender women

daily Reflection

Once you have completed today’s challenge, take a moment to reflect on any insights you experienced. How did the challenge make you feel? What is something you learned? Did you notice anything about yourself after taking the challenge? Consider sharing this new awareness with a friend or group to help deepen your understanding of the information. Consider tracking your reflections on the below daily log or joining our online Facebook group to encourage daily sharing with each other about the challenge topics.

Challenge Reflection Log

Share each challenge online with #YWCAEquityChallenge

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9 | DAY 10 | DAY 11 | DAY 12 | DAY 13 | DAY 14

Do you have resources you think we should share? Any insights you would like to share with us? We welcome you to share by leaving your comments here. Thank you!

By: Rachel Dannen

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